NATO chief says 'Russian violation is not likely accident'

Violation of Turkish air space by Russia 'not likely an accident' says NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks during a media conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels

NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, said on Tuesday that Russia has not officially informed alliance "any real explanation" over its violations of Turkish air space, adding "for NATO, the violation of Turkish air space by Russia does not look like an accident."

Stoltenberg made the announcement at a press conference held in Brussels before journalists.

"I will not speculate on the motives but this does not look like an accident... and we have two of them," Jens Stoltenberg told the news conference. 

Russia's NATO envoy commented on the press saying that the military alliance was using the “accidental incursion” of a Russian plane into Turkish air space to distort the aims of Moscow's air campaign in Syria, according to the TASS news agency.

"The impression is that the incident in Turkish air space was used to plug NATO as an organization into the information campaign waged by the West to distort the aims of the operations carried out by the Russian air force in Syria," Alexander Grushko, Russia's NATO envoy, was quoted as telling journalists in Brussels. 

The incidents, which NATO has described as "extremely dangerous" and "unacceptable", highlights the risks of an international escalation of the Syrian civil war, as both Russia and US are operating military missions over the same country for the first time since World War Two. 

An anonymous US official told Reuters the incursions lasted more than a few seconds and described Moscow's claim that the incursions were an accident as "far-fetched". 

Stoltenberg said the US-led alliance, of which Turkey has the second-largest military troops, had not received "any real explanation" from Russia of the air space violation. He said he had not had any direct contact with Moscow but NATO has suggested the possibility of using its military means of communication with Russia.   


TRTWorld and agencies